White Hart Lane. Or to be more apt Castle Black. The cold bite of winter eating away at my skin as darkness consumes the land. I look nervously around waiting for the imminent arrival of the white walkers as they march onwards from beyond the wall. On one side you have hope, on the other a haunting feeling of fear and desolation. Hope is fractured with in-fighting. That fear and the desolation slowly finding its way into the hearts of many.
I'm stuck on the wall in-between, alone for the most part, my life forever with the Night's Watch. Dedicated to defending all from what lies beyond. The echo of my voice, the only comforting reminder of my sanity. What's left of it.
Winter is coming. Well, December at the very least. Christian Eriksen has lost his ligaments to dragon fire. Andre Villas-Boas continues to stubbornly read scriptures in tongue that he refuses to deviate from or translate to the common man whilst his battles are just about won or occasionally lost.
Eight games of Premier League football to be had between now and 2014 interjected with three cup games (one domestic quarter-final and two Europa League games).
The fixture list reads like an obituary. It's hellish. King Joffrey approves. It could make snow (and our dreams) melt away.
Then again, everyone is frantic and desperate this time of the year, battling for as many points as possible as it can help push momentum into the New Year. It can't be all bad, can it? When you actually look at the fixture list 4 of our 7 Premier League fixtures are at White Hart Lane.
Oh, hold up. That isn't a good thing, is it?
The two big home games are against Manchester United and Liverpool (plus WBA and Stoke). We're away to Fulham, Sunderland and Southampton. We've also got Anzhi (Europa) and West Ham (Capital Cup) squeezed in.
A total of nine games - the first three of the month within 7 days.
If you want to truly punish your senses, then remind yourself we play Manchester City (100% home record) away this Sunday. It might favour us that they will seek to attack, allowing us the virtue of the counter. Might also help us not to have the expectancy of victory pre-match - although I am expecting bravery and guile and Sandro starting. As long as we give it everything then I'll be more than content. A win could prove to be the propulsion we require to launch us into this hellmouth of a month of December.
Punish your senses further by taking a gander at January. The fixture list computer giving us Manchester United away on the first of the month. Then Manchester City at home on the last game of the month.
I don't think I need to say this but I will; we'll know exactly what type of season this will end up being by the time we find ourselves creeping towards February. This slice of year is always defining.
Between now and then, we're going to need to prove that we don't only deserve to remain in contention but we actually want to stay in contention. Which means we have to look like a unit of players that understand what contention is. Everyone appears to be saying the right things off the pitch. Holtby, Sandro the latest two with the battle cry.
I'm going to say something monumentally controversial here. I'd happily accept us playing not so easy on the eye football but attaining a load of points going into 2014. Actually, that isn't controversial at all. We've been playing that way all season. I guess what I want is for us to avoid freezing in the cold month ahead. Do as our name says.
Still, with so many games in such a condensed amount of time, not losing and just (about) winning whatever way possible is (for me) more bricks being added on top of the foundations that have been built. I see an architect. Others see a charlatan.
Here's hoping we mature into an aggressive attacking beast of a side. If we don't then I'll roll with the axes. Right now, I'd take the the points.
Either way, brace yourselves for an epic Game of Moans.
I'm probably going to end up with my head on a stake. AVB's next to mine.